A hybrid propulsion system just for trucks

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Allison Transmission introduced an interesting product yesterday at the National Truck Equipment Association’s 2013 Work Truck Show:  its new H-3000 hybrid-propulsion system designed specifically for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Laurie Tuttle (at right), Allison’s VP for hybrid programs, noted that the H-3000 is a “package” of components built around Allison’s 3000 HS (for “highway series”) transmission – a package that includes an electric motor/generator built by Remy International and 50 kilowatt (kW) Delphi lithium ion prismatic cell batteries.

She explained that that Allison is targeting a 25% fuel economy improvement for its new H-3000 hybrid system – a system that’s been installed on some test trucks (including a Kenworth T370 Class 8 daycab equipped with a Paccar PX-6 engine and operated by Coca Cola, which you can view by clicking here) in order to gain some real-world performance data on the H-3000.

"We began pioneering hybrid technology in 1989 and, since 2003, have delivered more than 5,000 hybrid-propulsion systems for the transit bus market," said Tuttle. "With the launch of the new H-3000, we'll now provide this technology for a much wider range of vehicles."

She noted that the H 3000 is designed to capture otherwise wasted energy during vehicle braking and uses it to assist in vehicle propulsion and powering of auxiliary equipment.

The design also features a torque converter fully-automatic transmission and the hybrid motor-generator, along with Allison’s 5thgeneration of electronic controls to hopefully boost the system’s efficiency that much further.

Tuttle added that the batteries (above at left) play an important role in the overall design of the H-3000 system, as from one to four of them can be used depending on a truck’s specific application – noting that each battery weighs about 150 lbs., with the other hybrid components (motor/generator and transmission, among others) adding 400 lbs.

“The batteries are designed to be ‘stacked’ so they can be more efficiently packaged on limited chassis frame rail space,” she stressed – noting that the typical hybrid truck application should only require the use of two batteries.

Allison expects to start production of the H-3000 later this year. That’s when we’ll see what kind of response this new hybrid offering receives from the trucking industry. 

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